32 Thursday, 6 August 2009 London Lite LITESPORT Inbrief Als all good for thrilled Benitez lALBERTO AQUILANI will be the perfect replacement for Xabi Alonso -- according to Liverpool manager Rafa Benitez. The Italian is set for a medical today before completing a 20m move from Roma. And Benitez said: He has good passing, the final ball is good, and he also works. If he can settle down properly in England he can be a very good addition. I think he should excite the fans. Valencia makes Valencia suffer lALEX FERGUSON hailed new signing Antonio Valencia after he starred in Manchester Uniteds 2-0 friendly win against Valencia. The Ecuadorian was heavily involved as Wayne Rooney and Tom Cleverley grabbed the goals, although fellow newboy Michael Owen was less impressive as he missed four decent chances. Boss Ferguson said: Antonios performance was the most exciting part of the night for me. No Jack in the pack for U-21s lJACK WILSHERE has been left out of the England Under-21 squad to face Holland in Groningen next Tuesday, despite a stunning pre- season for Arsenal. The 17-year-old midfielder failed to get the call from Stuart Pearce for the friendly international. Fabian Delph, who recently joined Aston Villa from Leeds, has been included and new Chelsea striker Daniel Sturridge has received his first call-up at Under-21 level. Mowbray: Ive Scott it correct lTONY MOWBRAY insists he was vindicated by his decision to leave Scott Brown on the bench for their Champions League third qualifying win over Dinamo Moscow. Celtic overturned a 1-0 first leg home defeat to go through 2-1 thanks to a last minute winner from Georgios Samaras. Brown was superb coming on as a sub, but Mowbray said: The team is more important than the individual and Scott understood. Wigan swoop to get in Sinc lCHELSEA winger Scott Sinclair has joined Wigan Athletic on a season-long loan. The 20-year-old spent the second half of last season at Birmingham and has previously also had loan spells at Plymouth, QPR, Charlton and Crystal Palace. Scott is a fantastic talent who can operate either up-front or out wide and Im delighted to have him join us, said new Wigan boss Roberto Martinez today. Ivealwaysloved Blues* says Drog DIDIER DROGBAS love affair with Chelsea has been extended -- with any hint of unfaithfulness put down to mere frustration. AsLiteSportpredictedyester- day, the Ivory Coast interna- tional has signed a new three-year deal which will tie him to Stamford Bridge until 2012,atwo-yearextensiontohis current contract. But the 31-year-old admits he came close to dumping the Blues. He said on Chelsea TV: Of course I had been saying things years ago like I wanted to leave but people can always change their mind. Thatwasadecisionbecause I was a bit frustrated but when youhavealoveaffairwithyour team, you can be upset but alwayscomebacktoitbecause this is my team. Ivebeenherefiveyearsnow and I love it here. Its simple. Drogba, who was sent off during extra-time in the 2008 ChampionsLeaguefinaldefeat byManchesterUnited,remains determined to go one better in Europe this season under new B l u e s m a n a g e r C a rl o Ancelotti. And the striker -- who will spend around six weeks away at the African Nations Cup in early 2010 -- told the clubs website, chelseafc.com: I have decided to extend my contract with Chelsea for two extra years and I am very happy and proud to continue to wear the blue of Chelsea until then. I stay because I am ambi- tious to pick up lots more tro- phies, regain the Premier League title, win cups. It is for this that I have extended my time at Chelsea. But my No1 objective is to win the Champions League. I amconvincedthatthisyearwe can finally lift this trophy. Chelsea,whoplayManchester United in the Community Shield at Wembley on Sunday, remainkeenonsigningAndrea Pirlo from coach Carlo Ancelottis old club AC Milan but owner and Italian Prime MinisterSilvioBerlusconisaid yesterday: Andrea Pirlo has been taken off the market. Chelsea have made a major offer but hell stay with us and finish his career at Milan. Weve got to fight to Hang on to Brede says Mark MARK SCHWARZER has backed Roy Hodgsons plan to battle all the way to keep Brede Hangeland (below) at Craven Cottage. While Hodgson claims that no formal bids have been received for 15m-rated Hangeland, it is understood that Arsenal have put the towering defender at the top of their wish-list. Speaking ahead of tonights Europa League third qualifying round tie at home to Lithuanian side FK Vetra -- which Fulham lead 3-0 -- manager Hodgson said: We are going to be as desperate as a club can be to hold onto him. Thats good news according to goalkeeper Schwarzer, who added: It wouldnt surprise me that other clubs were showing an interest in Brede, because hes such a good player. But weve only got a small squad and you want to keep your best players, and Brede is one of our best players. Europa League 3rdrndqualifier,2ndleg. LiveonITV4 from 7.30pm(KO:8pm) fuLham(3) v fK VETra (0) *Except when I got a bit frustrated by neal collins New deal: Didier Drogba has signed a new three-year deal for Chelsea which ties him to Stamford Bridge until 2012 Bent: Im no Twit for that Tottenham transfer rant DARREN BENT reckons his infamous Twitter tirade was vital in finally getting him a club record 10m move from Tottenham to Sunderland. The 25-year-old striker launched an X-rated blast at Spurs chairman Daniel Levy when he felt the deal was set to collapse. That landed him a two-week fine, but when Bent, who was officially unveiled as a Black Cat yesterday, was asked if the tweet had ultimately paid dividends he admitted: In the long run it seems like it has done. Normally we tend to keep our mouths shut and everybody does the talking around us. I just wanted to come to Sunderland. I am delighted to be here and I cant wait to move forward. There is a lot of politics at Tottenham, but thats Tottenham as a club, added Bent, who was top scorer at Spurs last season with 17 goals. Im a Sunderland player now and it seems a lot more relaxed here. The fans are passionate and they have a fantastic stadium. It is the perfect place for me to play well, score goals and hopefully get back into the England set-up. The anticipation for this season is massive and I cant wait to get going. by harry lane Go on my Sun: Darren Bent Clarks in Hunt for Hammers WEST HAM are in talks with an American sports tycoon about a proposed takeover, according to reports this morning. The Sun claim that Clark Hunt, who owns both FC Dallas and Colombus Crew in the MLS, is planning a 120m buy-out of the Hammers from current owners CB Holding. Hunt, 44, was previously linked with a move to buy struggling Newcastle United from Mike Ashley. The news has emerged on the same day that collapsed Icelandic bank Straumur, who own 70 per cent of CB Holding, are due to meet creditors in Reykjavik to persuade them to continue to offer financial support. maloudas birthday bash: london eye, pages 8&9 HH index.html2.html3.html4.html5.html6.html7.html8.html9.html10.html11.html12.html13.html14.html15.html16.html17.html18.html19.html20.html21.html22.html23.html24.html25.html26.html27.html28.html29.html30.html31.html32.html33.html34.html35.html